The bustling modern town of PATAN was built on the ruins of the old city of Anhilwara, long-time capital of Gujarat. The old city served several Rajput dynasties between the eighth and the twelfth centuries before being annexed by the Mughals, then fell into decline when Ahmed Shah moved the capital to Ahmedabad in 1411. Little remains now except traces of fortifications scattered in the surrounding fields, as well as the stunning Rani-ki-Vav, Gujarat’s greatest step-well.

While modern Patan has few monuments, in the Salvivad area of town you can watch the complex weaving of silk patola saris, once the preferred garment of queens and aristocrats, and an important export of Gujarat, now made by just one extended family, the Salvis. The saris fetch anywhere from one to seven lakhs and take around four to six months to produce. For smaller wallets, scarves are also available from Rs5000.

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